As leader of the Uchiha, Fugaku was focused on the clan's interest and welfare. His son, Sasuke, saw him as a stern and uncaring man (though his wife revealed he cared deeply for his youngest child) while he was seen as a father to the rest of the clan. As Itachi was his successor as head of the clan, Fugaku spent much of his time focusing on the development of his eldest and little time with his youngest. Sasuke trained constantly in order to get his father's attention and approval.
According to Madara Uchiha's story, when the Nine-Tailed Demon Fox attacked Konohagakure, the village accused the Uchiha clan of orchestrating the attack. This belief caused a rift between the village and the Uchiha clan. Fugaku, out of spite, conspired a coup d'etat that would allow the Uchiha clan to take control of the village. Eventually, Fugaku placed Itachi as a spy in the ANBU to pass information back to the clan. However, Itachi secretly betrayed the Uchiha and took the role of a double agent, leaking information right back to the village.
As Itachi was the oldest of his children, Fugaku focused most of his attention on him, even defending Itachi when he was suspected of killing Shisui Uchiha. However, the two had a falling out when Itachi lost hope in the clan and Fugaku shifted his attention to Sasuke, even teaching him how to use the Fire Release: Great Fireball Technique. Sasuke was finally able to enjoy his father's company, but Fugaku advised him not to follow in Itachi's footsteps. Fugaku was later found next to his wife, dead, killed by Itachi during the latter's massacre of the Uchiha clan.